Online Training Opportunities National Service Officer Training Programs. The DAV Structured and Continuing Training (SCT) Program

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This document provides a description of current DAV National Service Officer training programs and their structure, supporting materials, and available resources currently in an

electronic format. A discussion of possible online training initiatives for each type of program is provided, as well as prospects for utilizing online training to support other programs and policies affecting the National Service Department.

The DAV Structured and Continuing Training (SCT) Program

Book I – 16 monthly lessons encompassing 38 C.F.R. Part 3 - Adjudication

Book II – 16 monthly lessons encompassing 38 C.F.R. Part 4 – The Rating Schedule and Appeals

Support Materials

 DAV Supplement to the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities

 Supervisors Training Manuals

 NSO Workbooks

 Anatomy and Physiology Charts

 Training Videos

 Special Monthly Compensation Slide Chart

Digital Media

The DAV Supplement to the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities, NSO Workbooks and the Supervisor’s Manuals are in PDF format.

Training videos are VHS converted to WMV format computer files on CD-ROM disks. The conversion resulted in low-resolution images that are grainy if enlarged for full screen viewing.

Present Online Training Resources

None

Present Online Testing Resources

Testing for Each Book:

 160 question pre-test

 10 question quiz after each of the 16 lessons

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Suggestions for Online SCT Training Initiatives

DAV SCT is a continuous program in effect for over 20 years, and is accredited by the American Council on Education for 12 hours of college credit. It is constantly updated to reflect changes in law and regulations pertaining to service-connected disabilities and benefits provided to disabled veterans and their dependents. It is designed to be conducted in a group setting, and would be difficult (but not impossible) to translate the material into an online program due, in part, to the large volume of content.

One immediate improvement that online resources could provide for this program is to update the training videos into an interactive web-based format. The videos address complicated topics involving the VA schedule for rating disabilities. In their present format they are low resolution conversions of VHS video tapes to Windows media format files, have not been updated to reflect current rating practices, and are continuous streams of content that cannot be practically

reviewed or edited due to scene transitions. The video topics are:

 The Musculoskeletal System (3 videos)

 The Eyes

 The Ears

 The Respiratory System

 The Cardiovascular System

 The Digestive System

 The Genitourinary System

 The Gynecological System

 Special Monthly Compensation (3 videos)

The videos contain animations and illustrations of anatomy and physiology of the various systems, accompanied by narration and captions. Ideally, a web-based online version of the material would provide the same information in an interactive manner, and allow the student to go backwards or forwards through a topic/module if needed for comprehension. The ideal version would also allow the student to test his or her knowledge of the subject matter by

responding to questions or problems incorporated into the presentation, with immediate feedback of the results.

The online training modules would also be formatted in such a manner that individual segments could be edited or revised to reflect changes in regulations or VA rating practices. Additionally, providing new content demonstrating rating concepts would enhance the knowledge and

understanding of the NSO. Examples:

- insertion point of the pronator teres muscle and proper rating of amputations below or above that point.

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- proper measurement of range of motion of a joint; the difference between active and passive motion; correct measurement of range of motion of a joint at the point pain is elicited.

- affect of gunshot wounds of the pleural cavity with bullet or fragment retained in the lung

16-Month On-the-Job Training (OJT) Program

Months 1-4: Orientation to the workplace; VA basic benefits; appeals; military affairs.

 Content in 8 two-week lesson plans

 Quiz at the end of each two-week lesson plan

 OJT Examination prior to accreditation, Week 16

Months 5-16: Advanced Studies

 Content in 12 monthly lesson plans

 OJT Examinations months 8, 12, and 16

Support Materials

 NSO OJT Workbook

 NSO OJT Supervisors Manual

 Numerous VA and DAV publications, references, and VHS videos. See Appendix A.

Digital Media

NSO Workbook and Supervisor’s Manual are in PDF format.

Present Online Training Resources

None

Present Online Testing Resources

OJT biweekly quizzes (through week 16)

 Seven Quizzes, 10 questions each OJT Examination every four months:

 Exam #1, Month 4 – 50 questions

 Exam #2, Month 8 – 50 questions

 Exam #3, Month 12 – 50 questions

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Suggestions for Online OJT Training Initiatives

Much of the training material for the OJT program is designed for study on an individual basis, and is therefore highly conducive to adaptation for online content delivery. NSO Trainees are hired throughout the year, and are in different stages of training on a monthly basis. The trainee and supervisor conduct individualized training using a timeline and curriculum outline based on the trainee’s date of hire.

Each OJT trainee participates in the SCT program beginning with the fifth month of training. Therefore, online material for the SCT program would also be used in conjunction with the OJT program.

Specific OJT modules to support the core material could be developed to either replace resources currently in VHS film format, and/or to present new content designed to reinforce and enhance the curriculum. Videos currently used in the program include:

Title Source

History of Veterans Benefits VA

Mission of Hope DAV

Mission Statement and Strategic Plan DAV Winter Sports Clinic DAV Examples of new modules might include:

 NSO Responsibilities, Authority, and Ethics

 Monthly Reporting Procedures

 The Basics of the DAV CMS System

Unstructured Training

DAV policies direct National Service Office supervisors to conduct training on various topics. Some training is to be provided at least annually, and some on an as-required basis. In addition, this category of training provides the opportunity to develop modules about specific topics to enhance NSO’s knowledge to be effective advocates.

Policy-Related Training

 The DAV 646 Digest – How to write an effective appeal

 Administrative National Service Office Policies

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Specific Topics

 Monthly Reporting Procedures

 The Seven Methods of Service Connection

 The National Service Department Business Plan

 DSO/CSO Certification Training: History, Purpose, and Training Methods

 Training about specific VA issues:

- The Causes, Symptoms, and Rating of Traumatic Brain Injury - Women Veterans

- Post-9/11 G.I. Bill Program

- Environmental Hazards: Agent Orange, Ionizing Radiation, Mustard Gas, Asbestos, Gulf War Syndrome

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Appendix A

OJT Training Materials List Publications:

“Wars and Scars” History of the DAV DAV National Constitution and Bylaws DAV Department Constitution and Bylaws DAV Chapter Constitution and Bylaws DAV Employee Manual

NSO Administrative Policies Manual DAV Employee Assistance Program DAV Monthly Report Procedures Manual

National Service Office Policy and Procedures Manual Case Management System User Manual

Case Management System Form Letters

References:

DAV On-the-Job Training Workbook

“History of Veterans Benefits”, VA Publication 80-97-2

“Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents”, VA Publication IS-1 DAV Service Officer Guide

DAV Supplement to the VA Rating Schedule DAV NSO Workbooks I and II

DAV Special Monthly Compensation Slide Chart Title 38, United States Code, Annotated

Title 38, Code of Federal Regulations

Lexis Federal Veterans Laws, Rules and Regulations VA Manual Rewrite M-21-1MR

Videos:

The History of Veterans’ Benefits, VA Show 95-532 DAV – Mission of Hope

DAV – Strategic Plan

DAV – Voluntary Services: Winter Sports Clinic DAV Structured and Continued Training Program

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